Darjeeling/Gangtok, Jan 1 (Calcutta Tube/IBNS) Heavy snowfalls have covered up large parts of the eastern Himalayan states and parts of neighbouring Bhutan and Nepal, heralding the first day of 2011 with mercury plummeting to minus eight degrees.
The snowfall, the first of this region, since midnight Friday covered up roads at some places under 30 inches.
Reports reaching from different regions said that Sandakphu, Phalut, Sree-Khola, and the Tigers hills have been covered by snow, Lodama Police station in-charge Dilip Das said.
Darjeeling, also fondly known as the Queen of the Hills, had been experiencing freezing cold condition for past five days. But latest snow fall and rains in the lower region since Friday night dipped mercury to -8 in some of the areas around Sandakpu and Phalut.
Local people came out in large number to greet the season’s first snow, which occurs sometime at end of Dec or Jan.
However, usual fun is missing in the hills of Darjeeling as the tourists have deserted following constant threats of bandh by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), demanding a separate Gorkhaland state.
Snowfall has been reported from upper regions of Sikkim.
Rains also were reported from the Terai, the Dooars and Siliguri forcing the people to remain indoor.